Passenger Bus Cashes Into a Train and Leaves 11 Injured, Some in Serious Condition

The bus from Varadero collided with the passenger train that covers the route between Bayamo and the community of Guamo. (Lizet Márquez Gómez)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 8 January 2019 – This Tuesday morning a passenger bus of the state company Transtur collided with a train at a railway-level crossing on the Bayamo-Las Tunas highway, an accident that left 11 injured, according to the official press.

Bus number 4724 with license plate B 173235 was travelling from Varadero when it hit the passenger train that covers the route between Bayamo and the community of Guamo, in the municipality of Río Cauto, according to the note.

It is the third accident involving a passenger bus in less than a month. The injured, whose ages range from 17 to 80 years, are from the provinces of Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Ciego de Ávila and Granma.

The wounded were taken to the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes provincial hospital in Bayamo, where they are currently receiving medical attention.

According to the witnesses of the incident, the accident occurred when the bus driver did not obey the stop signal at the level crossing and collided with the train that passed through the intersection.

However, a commentator from the Cubadebate site questioned that version and wrote “How many more dead will we have to await in order to put up the needed barriers with bells and lights and warning signs?” The resident in the province of Granma said that “Bayamo has the feature of having to traverse more than 17 level crossings, none with barriers.”

“At night, the darkness on our roads is incredible, there are no lights, there are no signs, there are no phosphorescent lines on the road surface. These things would help a lot to manage and prevent somewhat these unfortunate events,” added another Internet user who identified himself as Julio.

This past December 27, two people were killed and 33 injured in a traffic accident involving a truck with a trailer loaded with sugar cane and a passenger bus from the state company Astro. On December 12 another incident, again with a passenger bus, left three dead and 29 injured in the vicinity of Mayarí, in the province of Holguín.

The authorities traditionally attribute these types of accidents to the carelessness of the drivers, paying little attention to the road, excessive speeding or consumption of alcoholic beverages, but they rarely recognize the bad state of the roads, the scant signage and the technical problems of vehicle parking.

In the first quarter of this year, the number of massive accidents has soared alarmingly in the country.

The problem of the numerous traffic accidents on the island was addressed by President Miguel Díaz-Canel during a meeting with the Council of Ministers last July. The president urged all to worry about the “significant number of deaths and injuries” caused by these events.

On that occasion, the Minister of Transport, Adel Yzquierdo, cited as main causes of accidents “social indiscipline”, inadequate signaling, road deterioration and the circulation of vehicles without updated technical maintenance.

In 2017, 11,187 traffic accidents were recorded in the country, leaving 750 dead and 7,999 injured, according to reports from the National Road Safety Commission. Since 2012, according to the same source, more than 4,400 deaths have been reported on Cuban roads.

Translated by Wilfredo Díaz Echevarria


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